EU, U.S. to Expand Open Skies Agreement

The New York Times and other sources are reporting that the European Union and the United States agreed on Thursday to expand a three-year-old accord that allows airlines to operate more freely across the Atlantic Ocean.

The move will increase access to each other’s markets and aims to narrow differences over environmental regulations, but industry executives were reportedly disappointed that no agreement was reached to remove the remaining barriers to foreign ownership and control of airlines.

The preliminary deal builds on a March 2007 “open skies” pact that, since 2008, has allowed any European or American airline to fly between any two airports in either region— a move that has significantly increased competition in the $18 billion transatlantic market.

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